The Usual Suspects #6
Welcome back to another installment of The Usual Suspects. Keeping the momentum from this week’s Covering the Spread, let’s take a look at a couple of key books related to the upcoming Christmas release Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
This movie has a lot of potential. Everything I’ve seen so far looks great. Unique visual styling, talented voice cast, a proven franchise, and compelling characters provide this movie all it needs to succeed. This doesn’t appear to be your run-of-the-mill origin story. So I wouldn’t expect another paint by numbers Marvel Origin film we have all become accustomed to after a decade of the MCU. Honestly, isn’t nearly every solo MCU release a remix of the original 2008 Iron Man? I love ‘em for sure, but it’s not hard to see the structure of those films basically use the same outline. It works.
However, involving all of the different versions of Spider-man will give this film a distinct vibe different from what we’ve seen from Marvel and the Spider-man universe so far. Albeit an animated film, I feel this movie can open a lot of doors for comic book films in general. Multiple realities and parallel universes have long been familiar tropes for comic readers. General audiences are getting more and more accepting of fantastical concepts like these over the last decade as each subsequent super hero or sci-fi release pushes the envelope just a bit farther.
That being said, let’s take a look at a couple books related to the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie. These books have already seen significant movement over the last few years. Each subsequent announcement creates another hot title to chase (i.e. Spider-man Noir and SP//dr). However, the following books have already had their hidden gem spotlight ages ago. They are now known quantities and who knows how high the ceiling may be for either book.
I’m trying something a bit different this time after my deep dive into Hulk 181. This time I am going to broaden my timeframe and not just look at the last 3 months, but a full year review while I limit it to high grade only. And this time, just for kicks, I am gonna throw in some CBCS numbers.
So without further gilding the lily and with no more ado…let’s get into it.
1st appearance of Ultimate Spider-Man II (Miles Morales)
Marko Djurdjevic 1:25 Retailer Incentive Variant
Rough print run estimates have this variant at under 3,000 copies. This book has been on the Hot 10 before and will soon find its way back on that list. Only a few short months before the Sony/Marvel hype machine starts in earnest. Mark my words, once we see that first shot of Peter Porker, all of these related books will go nuts again.
That print run estimate may be overly generous as the CGC Census only shows 330 graded copies, and of that only 83 are 9.8’s. That dark cover may have scared off a lot of graders who may have preferred to just keep it raw rather than risk joining the pair of lowest graded 7.5’s in the census. And who knows about CBCS as they still don’t have a census up for public consumption.
Active Listings: As of 8/1, there were only about 10 Active Listings of the 1:25 variant on eBay. Not a very deep well. Only 1 graded copy listed which is a 9.8 at an astounding $2,500 Buy It Now. Looks like that hype train is already full steam ahead as that price is a full $1k over that last actual sale price from just 2 weeks ago.
Joining the make me sell it price point is a 9.4 listed at $2,000 with Best Offer. But that may sit as long as the other 9.4 is still available for a paltry $755 by comparison. A couple Signature Series copies are on the market; as well as a few raw copies in the $350 range. There is one other raw listed at $850, but that again may linger a while more affordable options are right there on the shelf next to it.
Market Analysis: Both in terms of volume and sale price, CGC is still out ahead of CBCS. Comparative CGC sales are 10-20% more than their CBCS counterparts. That seems to have become the norm these days. With 7 Graded 9.8 sales the last 3 months, only one was a CBCS and it was unsurprisingly the cheapest sale by about $250.
Last 9.8 sale was also at a slight discount to the recent average. However, all CGC grades are currently trading at an increase over the past year average. The few CBCS sales have actually been below the yearly average. Do people hate CBCS that much? Bargains to be had if you are so inclined.
I mean you can always crack and resubmit to CGC if you are feeling saucy. But it’s not an easy decision to risk that CBCS 9.8 on the gamble of what you may get from CGC, is it Paul W.? Been listening to Paul hem and haw over whether to crack that CBCS LOSH23 on Tales From the Flipside for a while now. I can’t wait to find out what he does, and whether he cracks and submits at Baltimore this year.
Getting back on point. Raw copies have been seeing gains over the last couple months. Sales this week have been around $400-450, with that last sale just after I ran my numbers so it wasn’t included in the chart below. However you can see that prices have been all over with a low of $245 and a high at $770. So maybe that $850 raw isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility. Time will tell.
As with any 1st appearance, if there’s an Incentive variant available, it will be the copy everyone wants since it is more rare. Simple supply and demand. However that doesn’t mean the regular issue isn’t worth looking at as well, so here goes…
Rough print run estimates have this book at nearly 74,000 copies. Prices the last 3 months reflect very close to the same as the last year, so pretty consistent. Some ebbs and flows, but for the most part the market has pretty well determined price points for this book dependent on grade.
I’ve personally have found a few still poly-bagged raw copies of this over the last couple weeks. The shop I hit up had a summer sale and the discounts got progressively better each week. So each week I picked up what they would allow me along with some other goodies.
Great discounts, however, not a 9.8 candidate in the bunch. Probably 9.4, or maybe 9.6 at best. However looking at the recent sales, 9.4’s and 9.6 have shown the biggest jumps in recent sales over the average. That black cover is just unforgiving with color breaking spine ticks, very easy to get dinged up. That poly-bag doesn’t do the book any favors. I feel poly-bagged books are always treated worse. It’s as if they are handled like that cheap plastic sandwich baggie covering is a 4 mil Mylar and Gerber fullback.
Anyway, the CGC Census only shows over 2,000 graded copies and of that 522 are 9.8’s. That ratio would seem to negate what I just said about it being hard finding high grade with 25% of the graded copies at 9.8. But I would like to point out, that there are still 70,000 ungraded copies out there that most likely have all the defects I am talking about. So choose wisely.
Active Listings: As of 8/1, there are over 100 Active Listings on eBay. Though you would need to weed out the second prints from that number, unless that is what you are looking for as a cheaper alternative. Nearly half of those listings are graded copies. With a plethora of options available you can easily find a copy to match your price point. A 9.8 will run you over $200, a 9.6 around $150, a 9.4 can be found under $100, on so on. Raw copies can go anywhere from $25-50. Check those pics for spine ticks, but $40 will get you a decent copy.
Market Analysis: With so many sales the last 3 months, the last sale compared to average doesn’t tell you much. With this many sales in a 3 month period, the average basically is the price. It was determined by the market. If you can find one under the average, good on you. If you pay a bit over, just make sure the copy is worth it as there are plenty of alternatives.
Unlike the 1:25 variant, even at a 9.8 this is a pretty affordable book. This is one you can take a chance on and hold for a bit as the bottom will most likely not fall out. And even if it does, it’s not that far to drop. The key if you plan to flip will be the timing. With loads of competing sellers you either need to offer the best price or just hit it when the rush comes with the next announcement or new trailer release.
Reader Copy Sales: There are two different 2nd print options for this book. Be careful as the one version looks nearly identical to the first print. The only difference is that you can fully see Mile’s face in the 2nd print. In fact, I feel some sellers are incorrectly listing them as if they are 1st prints. Or maybe that is just the optimist in me, as they truly could being trying to swindle someone. Though the other 2nd print is a completely different cover. I don’t know why that cover doesn’t get more love. Unsure on print runs on these, but I would grab them for cheap if you come across them. The white cover version in particular.
1st appearance of Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy)
Greg Land 1:25 Retailer Incentive Variant
This is another book that frequently has been on the Hot 10 list. All it took was that first trailer to show Spider-Gwen was appearing in this movie and the flame sparked again. This is quickly cementing itself as a modern cornerstone key. If you had a free pick of anything that has come out in the last 5 years, there aren’t many books that you would choose over this one.
I was lucky enough to obtain one nearly 2 years ago in a Razz that I put $10 in. Never expecting to actually win, it didn’t take me long to flip at the going rate at the time. Maybe about $700. Short-sighted as I was, I have regretted it ever since as this book just keeps climbing. However, never look back. I made money. Can’t be mad at that. And truthfully as much as I would love to still have that in my collection, at these current prices there is no way I wouldn’t cash in.
Granted, I don’t know where the ceiling is for this book, but I’m in a place where I would prefer taking that $$$ and putting it into a classic book that I never had growing up. I’m in that nostalgic phase in my collecting life right now. Checking off boxes of those books I didn’t know if I’d ever own. And truthfully I would much rather have one of those classic keys, as opposed to a recent incentive variant. But to each their own.
Anyway, getting back on topic, this book is just on fire.
Active Listings: Currently you are looking at about 15 Active Listings of the 1:25 variant on eBay. Not too bad considering the price point of this book. Most copies are graded. That goes for this book in general. But current listing for a 9.8 are all at least $2,700. There is one listed from Mycomicshop for $3,400. There’s even a 9.6 listed at $2,500. Again, the book is on fire.
To try and put these current prices into perspective, there is only one raw copy currently listed and it’s up for….$4900. Nearly five grand for a raw.
Market Analysis: One would think that at these prices there wouldn’t be much movement, but that isn’t the case. Also for some reason there were 2 sales well below market in both CGC 9.8 and raw that defy explanation.
As noted, this book has been trending up for some time, however an auction ended this week with a Buy It Now Price of $1,800 which is $350 under the 3 month average. Just 3 days prior another 9.8 sold for $2,400. That seller left $600 on the table, and someone else was happy to scoop up that equity. This is why you need to pay attention to sale trends, especially when dealing with bigger books such as this one.
Also in the right place at the right time, there was another raw sale this week that was also a bargain. The auction listing had a Buy it now for only $350 for a copy of the regular 1st print Edge of Spider-verse #2, as well as the 1:25 Land variant. Yes both for $350. And from what I can tell, both copies were pretty clean. That means this buyer had a choice between a raw for nearly $5k or this set for $350.
CBCS sales are few and far between on this book. For whatever reason, tracking shows the only CBCS sales the past year were the small handful within the last couple months. Also very few raw sales, but as you can see below another bargain buy at $450 raw. That was also well under the 3 month average. Granted I didn’t inspect the pic too closely so it may have been a VF copy for all I know. But considering the prices of any graded copy 9.2 and above, it may be worth buying any raw you can get your hands on and taking a chance.
Once again, the Incentive variant is clearly the copy own. But even after a half dozen reprints, the 1st Print O.G. copy is still worth a gander.
Rough print run estimates have this at under 55,000 copies. Recent sales of this book have been at a premium to the last 3 month average, as well as the last year prices. This is a book on the rise.
This may be a case where buyers are realizing the Land variant is now out of reach, so they instead turn towards this copy. Much like the current gains in Hulk 180 as 181 is getting further and further into that big boy book status. The CGC Census shows that there are thousands of graded copies and 1,500 are 9.8’s. That is a lot of copies at 9.8. But despite the availability, the sales are still plentiful and prices are on their way up.
Active Listings: Currently there are over 160 Active Listings on eBay. Once again many of those are the various other printings of this book. This includes the 2 Comic Bug variants that are technically reprints considering they were released months later. Lots of choices at varying levels of cost. Listings for 9.8’s are now at $500. Mycomicshop even has one of these at $815. A 9.6 is now $400. These asking prices are far exceeding the averages and even the most recent sales. But this is where gains are made when lower priced copies disappear and the remainders try and stretch the market forward. Prices are starting to climb.
Market Analysis: Even with hundreds of sales the last 3 months, prices are on the uptick. Recent sales show a 9.8 or a 9.6 will run you around $300. A 9.4 or 9.2 is looking closer to $150. Raw copies have been consistently over $100 and are quickly approaching those 9.2 prices.
Looking at the chart below you can see gains across the board. Recent sales are hitting at 50-100% increases over the average sales for the year. Even CBCS copies are trending up and are very close and even more than their CGC counterparts. Good for them.
Raws are again the Wild West as you could’ve grabbed a copy for $40 or $225 the last 3 months. Last sale up about 10% from the 3 month average. And with over 100 sales in 3 months you can see the demand is still there for this book.
Reader Copy Sales: There are 4 different 2nd print options for this book, not including the 2 Comic Bug versions mention previously. Most of them are simple color wheel variants, otherwise identical to the original. The 3rd Print is a design cover and would be my pick since it is unique from the rest. All versions are pretty cheap alternatives to the 1st print if you simply want a copy for your collection.
And with that, we wrap up another edition of The Usual Suspects. Until next time, I leave you to consider that if you are looking to buy in to either of the books above, consider whether your goals are short or long term.